As consumers engage with brands in a variety of channels, on their own time, and at their own pace, omnichannel customer engagement continues to be a highly sought-after goal, and measure of success, for the modern customer experience practitioner.
We recently spoke with Jeremy Cox, Principal Analyst at Ovum, and asked his insight and expertise on omnichannel customer engagement, and how to effectively achieve it in today’s customer-centric world. Watch our interview with Jeremy and read our Q&A below.
What is omnichannel customer engagement?
It’s a very complex thing. But what it is, simply, is enabling customers to interact with an organization however they want. And across whatever channels suit their particular customer journey. And that can be in-store, or it could be online, or it could be mobile, or it could be a whole combination of things like that. And that’s why it’s so complex, because behind the scenes, an enterprise has to figure out, first of all, who is the customer? Do they recognize the customer, as a customer? And then you have to be able to orchestrate, somehow, the customer experience in a dynamic way.
What role does security play in omnichannel customer engagement?
Today, there’s a huge amount of focus on customer privacy, security. These things have to be factored in as well, because the whole reputation of an organization can be destroyed pretty quickly, if customer data suddenly goes off the premises, or is hacked. So, it requires a constant fine tuning, adaptation, and doing that all the time.
How can companies achieve omnichannel customer engagement?
There is an organizational impact. So, there’s no use in being great at sales, great at marketing, great at service, great at commerce, in isolation. These things have to work together. Which means things like the processes need to work together as well.
And above all, it’s a collaborative venture that touches all parts of the organization. It’s not just about chucking technology at it, and hoping for the best. There’s all that groundwork that needs to be done. Really understanding customers. Doing things like understanding how customers interact. What are their likely ways of interacting with an organization? And can we make it as rewarding as possible for them? Or as simple as possible for them? Or as frictionless as possible for them?
Every year, we monitor where organizations are on their omnichannel journeys. Probably less than 10% feel that they’ve cracked it. Although 90% believe it’s important. There’s a huge gap between having the aspiration, and being able to deliver it. And I think part of the reason for that, is it requires such profound changes within an enterprise. If you don’t have the leaders of the organization really full behind it, you’re whistling in the wind.